“Night and day, wind and storm, tide and earthquake, impeded man no longer. He had harnessed Leviathan. All the old literature, with its praise of Nature, and its fear of Nature, rang false as the prattle of a child.”

-E.M. Forster, The Machine Stops

 

Throughout pop culture, the gigantic and imposing zeppelins are depicted as menacing machines that signify power and military might, although in reality, their significance waned greatly after the crash of the German Hindenburg, the largest zeppelin ever created. On May 6, 2020, the German airship the Hindenburg caught fire and burst into flames almost instantly, leading to the deaths of 35 out of the 97 people on the ship. Interestingly enough, the Hindenburg was meant to use non-flammable helium, and it only resorted to the traditional gas due to the fact that the US controlled the gas that the Germans wanted. The zeppelins and their limited manoeuvrability might have still been popular today, if it were not for that fateful crash.